Trump-endorsed Republican accused of sexual assault loses Nebraska governor primary

Republicans in Nebraska picked Jim Pillen as their nominee for governor on Tuesday, over a rival supported by Donald Trump and accused of groping multiple women.

Charles Herbster’s loss was a setback for Trump, who has issued hundreds of endorsements and staged rallies in support of candidates including Herbster in an effort to bend the GOP in his direction ahead of a possible presidential run in 2024.

Herbster’s loss raises the stakes on other high-profile primaries this month in Pennsylvania and Georgia, where Trump has also intervened.

Trump’s influence proved decisive in West Virginia on Tuesday, 然而.

In a US House primary pitting Republican incumbents against each other, Trump’s candidate, Alex Mooney, defeated David McKinley, who angered Trump by voting for Joe Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure package and the creation of the House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.

Nebraska, Pillen, a hog farm owner and veterinarian, defeated eight challengers including Herbster and Brett Lindstrom, a state senator generally viewed as a more moderate choice.

“We live in the greatest place on the planet, right here in Nebraska,” Pillen said as a crowd chanted, “Let’s go, Jim!”

Pillen will be a favorite in November’s general election against a state senator, Carol Blood. Nebraska has not elected a Democrat as governor since 1994.

Pillen was endorsed by GOP leaders in the state including the term-limited governor, Pete Ricketts, former governor Kay Orr and former University of Nebraska football coach and congressman Tom Osborne.

The allegations against Herbster didn’t stop Trump holding a rally with him.

“I really think he’s going to do just a fantastic job, and if I didn’t feel that, I wouldn’t be here,” said Trump, who has denied sexual misconduct allegations of his own.

Herbster alluded to the groping allegations in a concession speech.

“This is one of the nastiest campaigns for governor in the history of Nebraska,” Herbster said.

上个月, the Nebraska Examiner interviewed six women who claimed Herbster groped their buttocks, outside of their clothes, during political events or beauty pageants. A seventh woman said Herbster once kissed her forcibly.

A Republican state senator, Julie Slama, said Herbster reached up her skirt and touched her inappropriately at a dinner in 2019.

Herbster filed a defamation lawsuit against Slama, saying she was trying to derail his campaign. Slama responded with a countersuit, alleging sexual battery.

Nebraska Republicans and Democrats also picked candidates for the US House seat previously held by the Republican Jeff Fortenberry, who resigned in March after he was convicted of federal corruption charges.

Mike Flood, a former speaker of the Nebraska legislature, won the Republican nomination while state senator Patty Pansing Brooks was the Democratic pick. Flood will be strong favorite in the Republican-heavy first district, which includes Lincoln, small towns and a large swath of farmland.